Fall is in the air, and while autumn brings lovely weather and colourful landscapes, it also means it’s time for home maintenance projects such as cleaning your gutters. The fall weather signals that it’s time to prepare for storms, rain and snow in the winter months ahead. Gutter cleaning and repair should be your top priority to prevent a leaky roof and severe water damage to your home.
A gutter clogged with leaves, sticks and other debris can be a recipe for disaster, not only leading to moisture issues, but creating a nice home for pests, rodents, molds and bee hives. The summer months often result in dry leaves, branches and other materials accumulating in your gutters, so the start of fall is the perfect time to get them under control. Here are 4 tips to get your gutters ready for fall.
1. Clean Leaves and Debris Out of Your Gutters
The first step is to clean leaves, branches and other debris out of your gutters. You can use an old plastic spatula, which won’t scrape the gutters, and a plumbing snake works well to pull clumps of wet leaves out of clogged downspouts. Give your gutters a high-pressure spray down, and then put gloves on to get rid of any extra debris. If you really want to give your gutters the best clean, pour warm water and soap in a bucket, pour it into your gutters and wipe them down with a sponge!
2. Check Gutters for Damage
Once your gutters are squeaky clean, you can check them for any damage that may have occurred during the last rain storm, or since you last cleaned them. Check for loose screws, leaks, uneven sections, and any other wear and tear. Look to see if the gutters are pulling away from the house, if they’re starting to sag, or if the downspout is loose. Checking for damage will ensure your gutters are prepared for the fall and winter season.
3. Complete Necessary Repairs
If there turns out to be damage during your inspection, the sooner you get the repairs done, the better. It will help your home in the long run, ensuring there’s no long-lasting damage. Any leaks due to cracks and holes that weren’t filled in can lead to water or other debris seeping into the foundation or basement of your house and causing major issues. Rain, ice and snow during fall and winter can lead to even more leaks, cracks and holes, so it’s best to go into the season with clean, strong gutters.
4. Trim Trees and Use Rodent Repellent
Tree branches grow in the summer months, and can end up directly over your roof or gutters. As the wind picks up, it blows leaves, nuts and seeds into your roof and gutters, clogging them up, plus, if a big storm hits and a branch falls off, it can cause major damage to both. Not trimming your trees can lead to clogs or damaged troughs. The cooler weather also means it’s time for rodents to seek warmth and shelter, and the concave of your gutters make for a nice home. Once you’ve cleaned and repaired your gutters, coat them in rodent repellent to keep the critters away.
Fall is here and winter isn’t far behind. Clean your gutters now to ensure they’re ready for the chilly seasons ahead!